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Recycling bins are not trash cans.Posted Monday, September 19, 2011, at 2:46 PM
Trying to maintain an unsupervised recycling drop-off trailer comes with some inherent problems.
Greene County Solid Waste Management District Supervisor Erek Wilson is finding out that some people just don't operate very well on the honor system and are taking advantage of the intended purpose of the mobile drop-off trailer at Linton and at other revolving locations.
The recycling bins are not trash cans.
The actions of some this past weekend has Wilson possibly considering hauling the mobile trailer back to the recycling center on Saturdays and Sundays -- two of the most heavily abused days.
"That really seems to be the problem days when people are dumping the things that are nowhere near recyclable," Wilson pointed out.
Wilson contacted our office Monday morning and said he was unloading the Linton-based trailer -- located on South Main Street near the railroad tracks -- Sunday afternoon and was confronted by two men who had a trailer load of books that they wanted to put in the recycling box.
Wilson told them that the Recycling Center would be the place to drop the books and not the mobile recycling trailer.
The trailer on Sunday was already full.
"This (the load of books) was like from a library," Wilson said.
There is no actual place in the recycling trailer to drop off books.
Trying to accommodate the men, Wilson told them the trailer would be emptied and he suggested that they return in about an hour and he could drop off the books as a favor.
Wilson explained when the box was checked early Monday morning the books were simply thrown all over the ground -- not in the metal receptacle.
"It was a trailer load of books thrown on the ground along with a bookshelf," Wilson said. "That's a problem. We've got six people trying to service the waste of 32,000 people throughout the county. When people do stuff like that it's really a slap in the face. So Monday morning the first thing we have got to do is send two guys out and clean it up."
Wilson said his crew is so overwhelmed with the things that we are receiving for recycling that when something like this happens, it creates a problem.
The solid waste district manager also said there is a growing problem with people actually throwing their household trash into the recycling bins -- which is clearly not the place to do that.
"You can tell there are some people who clearly don't know what to recycle or maybe they are out of the city limits and looking for a cheap way to get rid of their trash," Wilson said.
The mobile recycling trailer can take all kinds of plastics -- grocery store type plastics; mixed paper; newsprint; magazines; corrugated cardboard; steel cans; aluminum cans; and glass.
"Our goal is to serve more people in the county. The more we can recycle the better," he said. "When these things start happening you get a little bit frustrated ... a couple people out there doing this can ruin it for everybody."
Wilson asked for patrons to be more conscientious and if they have items they are unsure are recyclable, give the center a call at 659-3788.
"Even if it's something that you have that isn't taken on the trailer, there are many other items that we can take at the center near Switz City," he stressed. "There are so many people that are recycling these days. What we are up against is, we don't have the money to run out and buy a huge trailer to accommodate them. The only thing that I can see now to go from here is to have it (the trailer) there less because it's just getting out of control."
It's time to use some common sense when it comes to dumping your trash or other inappropriate items in the recycle bins.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be contacted by telephone at 847-4487 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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